Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: Hall Pass (2011) TH

A golden ticket to indulge

Kids, mortgage, career: all responsibilities that can get piled on and weigh one down from marriage. Some look back and envision how things could have played out differently or what it would be like with someone else, due to an uncontrollable obsession that follows a person around and gets the juices flowing again whenever the opposite sex bends over or is noticed with lustful glances across the bar.

Fred (Jason Sudeikis) and Rick (Owen Wilson) have wives that know what's cookin' in their spouse's loins and what secret conversations they attempt to conceal--and they're tired of it. The two men are granted permission to have a week of fun and best of all no questions asked while the wives take a leave of absence on their own. The husbands don't know whether it's too good to be true or just a cleaver trick. Yet, their friends hear the news and want to tag along and see these sex-on-their-mind hall pass holders work their supposed magic they're always on about. Except these accountant, Hardy Boy looking urbanites are terrible at it, out of practice and not hip in the slightest. Their perception of women is that they are naive and can be scooped up and used as easy as salt shakers with nothing but their manly presence and a pick up line to draw them to their salivating plate. Meanwhile they have no idea that the pass works as a two way street while their wives talk it up with some newly met baseball studs who think they have a couple of cougars on their hands.

This is "Beavis and Butthead" mixed with "Hangover" antics. You're gonna get more sex jokes and newly invented lingo than you can't count, not to mention male and female nudity and gross out humor. This is more of a shock gag movie that plays on taboos and awkwardness. Sounds like a recipe for simple fun to loosen up from the day-to-day grind and at times it produces unexpected laughs, though at others it feels up and down by either over or under playing the comedic timing. Not to mention the chemistry between the cast didn't always feel authentic and kinetic, such as Brent (Derek Waters): the cut and pasted antagonist who overreaches and feels forced due to having no range other than to hamper Rick's (Wilson) plans. Both Fred and Rick strike out continuously and then random characters and settings are thrown in the mix so that things "coincidentally" fall into place at the same time for more of a topsy turvy climax.

This isn't going to be another "Dumb & Dumber," "Kingpin" or "There's Something About Mary" where the replay value and jokes can be relived over and over again due not only to the odd and crude though workable humor but characters that breathed and ultimately became the part through and through. "Hall Pass" has its moments here and there, is easy entertainment and includes some messages about if what you're feeling is real or just a fantasy, or if the person you have is just enough. Though this doesn't stand as tall or generate as much hearty laughter that can draw up lasting memories as one would except coming from a movie with the Farrelly brothers' name on it.

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly (Fever Pitch, Stuck on You)
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate, Jenna Fischer
Website: IMDB